Your Geometry Homework out for Vengence
June 30, 2018 10:03 PM   Subscribe

SuperButterBuns brings us all the basics with Nier Automata for Beginners ("Become as frogs."), Undertale for Beginners ("Date the Skeleton, you nerds.") and How to Get Into the Kingdom Hearts Series for Beginners ("This is a special episode, everybody.").
posted by Deoridhe (9 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
It really is extraordinary how much Yoko Taro and Platinum Games complimented each other. Platinum make great-feeling games that often feel a bit hollow; Yoko Taro directs really unique, striking games that often aren't all that much to actually play.

The very end of Nier Automata really messes up the argument about whether game storytelling is stuck in a rut because it's depicting violent characters or whether games can evolve to have satisfying mechanics that aren't based around shooting things. Nier Automata has a rock-solid commitment to its metaphors, so when I tell you that it spends the entire game asking difficult existentialist questions, and switches genres to answer them through the medium of a bullet-hell shooter, I want you to feel just a smidgen of the disbelief that I was feeling as it was happening. It makes sense, based on the world it's created, but still. It's an impossible thing.
posted by Merus at 1:28 AM on July 1, 2018 [9 favorites]

I subscribe to a lot of video-game related content and yet this channel somehow slipped beneath my radar. Thank you for correcting that oversight. Great post.
posted by Fizz at 2:57 AM on July 1, 2018

it spends the entire game asking difficult existentialist questions, and switches genres to answer them through the medium of a bullet-hell shooter,

Indeed. It's brilliant, I just wish it wasn't couched in such casual misogyny. In an alternative universe, there's a way to craft this game, not have typical sexy robot doll in maid outfit be your default character setting and still make the philosophical/story arguments you want to explore in an intelligent and engaging way.
posted by Fizz at 3:22 AM on July 1, 2018 [2 favorites]

I have followedSuperbutterbtterbuns ever since I saw thier Dark souls git gud video.

I love the sense of humour and the freneric editing as well as the good natured snark from someone who gets obvious real joy from playing games
posted by Faintdreams at 4:47 AM on July 1, 2018

What was really missing from Nier: Automata was a chapter where you play as Pascal, just working to make your little village better, and you have to deal with all these souped up jackasses. Hero's tales are one thing, but what happens to everyone the hero touches? That's storytelling.
posted by seanmpuckett at 6:54 AM on July 1, 2018 [5 favorites]

I guess I gotta buy and play Nier Automata then.

It's one of those games that you know is problematic but there's also a whole bunch of other really complex and interesting stuff happening at the same time. I still wonder at myself when I purchase games like this and the types of excuses I create in my brain to jump around things that I know piss me off.

That being said, if you do end up hitting purchase, make sure you give yourself time to play this, it necessitates multiple play-throughs to really understand what is happening in the story. I made a post with a round up of articles last year when it was released, feel free to check it out.
posted by Fizz at 8:16 AM on July 1, 2018 [1 favorite]

It's brilliant, I just wish it wasn't couched in such casual misogyny.

Yeah, I think it was going for the idea of the androids being dressed in various kinds of service roles, but I think once you start putting achievements in your game for looking up the character's dress you forfeit the high ground. (There's an in-game store that lets you buy achievements.)

I've seen a lot of Japanese creators try on that particular approach; they're androids, so they were made sexy and the creators somehow aren't responsible for it turning out that way. It's got some bright spots - it's real casual about gender, for instance, although I'd like to hear the perspective from people outside the gender binary on that, and it's refreshing how seriously it takes violence - but it's also unnecessarily skeevy in places.

Still, compared to, say, Bravely Default or God of War, it's not notably misogynistic. This is still an industry where even in 2018, about 10% of lead characters are female. (It's a lot more common to pick your gender than it was, but if you can't, you're about 3 times more likely to be forced to play a male than to be forced to play a female.)
posted by Merus at 9:33 AM on July 1, 2018 [3 favorites]

Great videos! The Persona 5 one I got in the recommendations was fun too.

I'm still not sure if I liked Nier Automata but it was definitely an experience. The (real) ending was amazing.
posted by Memo at 10:54 AM on July 1, 2018

I love SuperButterBuns' channel! She's just SO passionate about Kingdom Hearts and it's really endearing. There was a reaction video to an earlier KH3 trailer a while back and the emotions were palpable. And she has great hair!

Automata's problematic-ness is there, but felt... contextually tolerable, especially compared to the wider gaming landscape; which is also real horny, but the directors/writers will dodge owning up to it. 2B is sexy, but the game's script doesn't objectify her (though you as a player sure can...). Taro's games also have a really bleak outlook on humanity's decisions; I had absolutely no suspension of disbelief that techbros of the future would make sure that the combat forces responsible for their survival have killer thighs.
posted by NeonCaster at 3:59 AM on July 2, 2018

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